FARGO, ND – On the first night home at Newman Outdoor Field since July 12th, the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks came back and tied the game in the eighth, but the wheels fell off in the top of the ninth and they eventually fell 15-7 to the Grand Prairie AirHogs before a sellout crowd of 4,426 spectators on Wednesday night.
Grand Prairie would jump on the board first. Catcher Zane Chavez would single and be driven in two batters later by former big-leaguer Victor Diaz.
The 'Hawks would plate one of their own in the home half of the first. Chad Mozingo would single and be driven in two batters later by a two-out Joe Dunigan liner making it 1-1.
RedHawks starter Tyler Herron allowed six runs (all earned) on a season high 13 hits with two walks and four strikeouts. The 'Hogs pounded the ball in the gaps and alleys keeping Herron on the mound for long half-innings. In just seven innings of work, Herron tossed 121 pitches, 82 of them being for strikes.
Fargo-Moorhead would regain the lead in the home half of the third. Zach Penprase led off the frame with an opposite field solo homer off of 'Hogs starter Brett Wallach that just cleared the fence in right giving the 'Hawks a 2-1 lead. Chad Mozingo would follow that with a double down the line in left and would be brought around to score on a Ryan Pineda RBI bloop single making it 3-1.
After Herron tossed a scoreless third and fourth inning, a Ridge Hoopii-Haslam leadoff single in the fifth turned into a plated run. Grand Prairie would tack on three more in the fifth highlighted by a two run home run to right from Willie Cabrera making it 5-3 AirHogs.
The RedHawks added one in the bottom of the sixth. Drew Muren was plunked by a pitch for the eighth time this season to lead off. Muren would be advanced to second by Penprase and driven in on a laced single from Mozingo cutting the deficit to one making it 5-4.
Grand Prairie would add two more in the eighth pushing it to 7-5. Joe Staley and Taylor Oldham would lead off the bottom half of the inning with singles followed by a Connor Andrus walk bringing Muren up with the bases loaded. Muren grounded into the fielder's choice scoring Staley, but a throwing error from Josh Eatherly allowed Oldham to wheel home. Andrus was then driven in by Penprase who advanced to second on another error from Eatherly. With one out and runners on first and second, Joe Bonfe struck out and Dunigan flew out to center ending the threat but the game was tied 7-7 heading into the top of the ninth.
Victor Diaz led off the frame by lining out to first, to which Bonfe made an unbelievable diving catch. Diaz would also bat later in the half-inning, belting a solo home run to the deepest part of the park. Grand Prairie batted around the order, capped off by a grand slam from Zane Chavez opening the floodgates for Grand Prairie. A tie game heading into the ninth flipped and Fargo-Moorhead found itself down 15-7 heading to the bottom of the ninth and would go on to lose by that same score.
Chad Mozingo kept up his torrid ways at the plate. The left-fielder went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in the loss and raised his average from .314 to .321 in the loss.
Tyler Thompson (2-1) took the loss in his 1.1 innings of relief work while Jason Jarvis (1-3) earned his first win of the season for Grand Prairie by recording two outs in the wild eighth inning.
Fargo-Moorhead falls to 22-40 while Grand Prairie now sits at 22-41. Game two of the series is set for tomorrow night with the RedHawks sending Tyler Alexander (0-4, 3.00 ERA) to the bump while Grand Prairie will counter with Blake Oliver (5-5, 4.30 ERA). Tomorrow is Military Appreciation Night and will feature Country-Western icon Lee Greenwood, who will be singing the National Anthem and God Bless America. With a full slate of events to honor America, the gates will be opening at a special time of 5:30 p.m for a 7:02 p.m start time.